Why this course?

  • Practical Experience

    Learn risk assessment from someone with years of practical experience in industry.

  • Understand the Whole Process

    Anyone can learn the fundamentals of machinery risk assessment by doing some reading. In this course, you will learn the whole process, including the important linkage to functional safety.

  • Get the Tools

    Students in this course have access to tecnical papers, risk assessment tools, and much more. Be ready to get the job done right, the first time.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Module 1 - Getting Started

  • 2

    Module 2 - The Basics: What is Risk?

    • Module 1 & 2 Video Lesson - What is Risk?

    • What is RISK?

    • Self assessment: Are you a risk taker?

    • Risk Factors

    • Consequence or Severity

    • Probability or Likelihood

    • Introducing Risk Scoring Systems

    • Module 2 Unit Test: The Basics

  • 3

    Module 3 - Hazard Identification & Severity Analysis

    • Module 3 Video Lesson - Hazard Identification and Severity Analysis

    • What is "Safety"?

    • Hazard Identification

    • Finding All the Hazards: How do we know we are done?

    • ISO 12100-2010 Annex B

    • Hazard Types - Additional Reading

    • Severity Analysis

    • Hazardous Events & Situations

    • Assignment #1 - Hazard Identification

    • The Press

    • Assignment #1 Answers

    • Assignment #2 - Robotic Assembly Cell Case Study

    • Assignment #2 Risk Assessment Case Study Solution

    • Weekly Lesson Quality Survey

  • 4

    Module 4 - Likelihood of Injury - How likely will a person be hurt?

    • Module 4 Video Lesson - Likelihood of Injury

    • Task Identification

    • Creating Task-Hazard Lists

    • Intended Use and Foreseeable Misuse

    • Understanding Probability

    • Module 4 Self Assessment Quiz

    • RA101-M4 Slides

    • Lesson Quality Survey

  • 5

    Module 5 - Risk Scoring Tools

    • Module 5 - Risk Scoring Tools

    • Quantitative, Qualitative, and Semi-quantitative tools

    • Qualitative scoring tools: Decision Trees

    • Qualitative scoring tools: Risk Matrices

    • Semi-Quantitative Scoring Tools: Risk Matrices with Algorithms

    • Semi-Quantative Scoring Tools: Algorithms without matrices

    • Assignment #3 - Using a risk assessment tool

    • Risk Assessment Worksheets

    • Risk Estimation - Chris Steel (1990)

    • Leuze "HaRMONY" whitepaper

    • RA101-M5 Slides

    • Weekly Lesson Quality Survey

  • 6

    Module 6 - Risk Control Measures - The Hierarchy of Controls

    • Module 6 - Risk Control Measures

    • Risk Reduction Techniques

    • Step 1: Inherently Safe Design

    • Step 2: Engineering Controls

    • Barrier Guards

    • Fixed Guards

    • Openings in Guards

    • Adjustable Guards

    • Self Adjusting Guards

    • Movable Guards

    • Guard Locking

    • Trapped Key Systems

    • Step 3: Information for Use

    • Step 4: Administrative Controls

    • Step 5: Personal Protective Equipment

    • Assignment #4 - Assigning Risk Controls

    • RA101-M6 Slides

    • Weekly Lesson Quality Survey

  • 7

    Module 7 - Risk Assessment Work Flow - Getting it done

    • Module 7 - RA Workflow

    • Risk Assessment Process Flow

    • Defining the Scope of the Risk Asssessment

    • Defining the Limits

    • Risk Evaluation

    • Extra Reading - TOR Tolerability of Risk from Nuclear Power Stations - UK HSE

    • Extra Reading - TOR Notes - Slavin

    • Extra Reading - Reducing Risk and Protecting People - UK HSE

    • RA101-M7 Slides

    • Weekly Lesson Quality Survey

  • 8

    Module 8 - When is a Risk Assessment needed? The WHEN, WHY, and the WHAT in the five W's

    • Module 8 - When, Why and What

    • WHEN - Integrating Risk Assessment into Design Workflow

    • WHY - The rationale for risk assessment

    • The WHAT in Risk Assessment

    • Quality control in safety and risk analyses - Suokas, Rouhiainen - 1989

    • RA101-M8 Slides

    • Weekly Lesson Quality Survey

  • 9

    Module 9 - Risk Assessment Teams - The WHO in the five W's

    • Module 9 - The WHO in the Five W's

    • The WHO in risk assessment

    • Factsheet 80 - Risk assessment - roles and responsibilities

    • RA101-M9 Slides

    • Weekly Lesson Quality Survey

  • 10

    Module 10 - How to conduct a risk assessment

    • Module 10 - How to Conduct a Risk Assessment

    • Conducting the Assessment

    • Conducting Early Assessments - Krauss, Frankfurth

    • Spatial Safety Assessment Presentation - Krauss, Frankfurth

    • Enhancing Safety Culture Through Effective Communication

    • Communicating and consulting about risk - HB327-2010

    • RA101-M10 Slides

    • Weekly Lesson Quality Survey

  • 11

    Module 11 - Risk Assessment Documentation

    • Module 11 - Risk Assessment Documentation

    • Risk Assessment Documentation

    • RA101-M11 Slides

    • Weekly Lesson Quality Survey

  • 12

    Module 12 - Risk Assessment Outcomes

    • Module 12 - Risk Assessment Outcomes

    • Risk Assessment Outcomes

    • RA101-M12 Slides

    • Weekly Lesson Quality Survey

  • 13


    • Final Exam

  • 14

    Student References and Reading Material

    • Suggested Reading List

    • Statistics and the Theory of Measurement

    • RG-597 - Machine safety - Preventing mechanical hazards - Fixed guards and safety distances

    • R-684 Experimental Analysis of Tools Used for Estimating Risk Associated with Industrial Machines.

    • CSA Z434 Risk Assessment White Paper

    • Steel System Origin - Risk Estimation by Chris Steel, 1990

    • hsl06117 - Underlying causes of accidents

    • The Origins of Modern Risk Assessment - "Mathematical Evaluation for Controlling Hazards", W. T. Fine, 1971

    • Machinery Risk Assessment for Risk Reduction - Etherton et al. 2001

    • Analysis and prevention of serious and fatal accidents related to moving parts of machinery - Chinniah 2015

Social proof: testimonials

“I have been following your blog, Machinery Safety 101, for some time. When I saw the announcement for the RA101 course I was very excited and enrolled straight away. Overall the course has exceeded my expectations. Thanks for your work in spreading the knowledge of machinery safety and helping reduce risks. The relatively long time period of the course and moderate pace allowed me to absorb the learning materials, unlike some other courses I took which tried to crunch a lot of information within a very short amount of time. I think you were great about explaining difficult concepts in a way most people could understand. The best thing I found about the course is the amount and depth of the reference materials. They helped me understand how some of the clauses in standards came about. Module 10, how to conduct a risk assessment, was the most interesting module to me. There were some very practical advice and unique materials. I am sure I will find them useful in my future career.”

Pengcheng Liu

“Doug Nix is a knowledgeable expert in and prolific promoter of machine safety, and also an excellent educator. The multiple-approach training method, with weekly live lectures, relevant online study material, live discussion sessions, one-on-one consultation, made for an easy-to-follow course on a sometimes difficult and tricky subject. I highly recommend this course to both equipment manufacturers and users to help you make your products and workplaces safer. ”

Daniel Gunderud

“As a Compliance Professional being driven by corporate direction as regard Risk Assessments, I thought it was time to refresh my training and see how others in the profession were doing it. I found that I enjoyed the course and the wealth of support material provided, some of which I had not seen before. The course had a good balance and was well presented by Doug Nix. I would recommend this course to others in the field of compliance.”

Dave Leith

“RA101 was a great course, with a lot of resources that explained in detail the process of conducting a risk assessment in a clear manner. Doug also goes the extra mile by having office time every week to help answer any questions you may have. Strongly recommend this course to anyone looking into this subject. 5 out of 5 stars ”

Jose Dominguez

“EVERPLAY International Inc. has been a member of the technical committee for CSA Z614 since 1991 and committees for playgrounds and sport-related surfacing at ASTM since the mid-1990s. We have always felt that participants in these activities will run a risk of injury from minor to life-threatening. Because of this, we have been advocates for the introduction of hazard identification and risk assessment to allow manufacturers, owners, and designers to develop new products and services. They could perform and document a risk assessment and take responsibility for their decisions. The RA101 from Compliance Insight gave us a clear understanding and perspective that we have been able to carry into CSA Z614-20, ASTM F1487-21 and currently, we are working as convenor of the WG6 of ISO TC83 developing a Benefit-Risk Assessment document. The RA101 presents the topic of hazard identification and risk assessment in a clear and concise manner that can be applied to the Occupational Health and Safety, which works for us in our construction work, but also provides us with the ability to think through the processes as they could apply in the sport and recreation sector. A clear element of Risk Assessment is the development of a thinking process and RA101 provides that. We would recommend the course to anyone wanting to take a single course to establish a solid footing in Risk Assessment. Additional courses and readings are always needed by practitioners. We look forward to future courses that might branch out into other applications of Risk Assessment.”

Rolf Huber - Everplay International Inc.

“The course was expertly delivered and laid out in a very intuitive manner that follows a logical progression which strengthens the learning experience. It’s clear to see Doug is an expert in the field of Risk Assessments and understands the importance of the fundamentals, and he is eager to share his depth of expertise and capable of explaining things in a way that is easy to digest. I thoroughly enjoyed the course material, which almost seemed tailor-made for me and my role at my company. The availability of office hours and 1-on-1 training further reinforced any questions related to specific applications, which was invaluable.”

Jono Horne


Doug Nix, C.E.T., SM-IEEE '14

Machinery Safety Specialist

Doug is the main instructor for machinery safety and regulatory compliance topics. Specializing in industrial machinery, Doug has more than 35 years of experience in risk assessment, control systems design, functional safety and standards development. Sharing what he has learned over his career has become a passion while providing training to technicians, technologists and engineers. Besides providing consulting services to clients, Doug also writes for the Machinery Safety 101 blog, http://machinerysafety101.com. Doug co-owns Compliance inSight Consulting, and the Machinery Safety 101 blog with his partner and best friend, Kimberly Nix.